Boatwif Blog

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The honeypot and a pavilion pair

Stoke Bruerne is one of those ‘honeypot’ locations that attracts boaters and visitors alike. Boaters passing through will arrive from the north via the 1¾ mile long Blisworth Tunnel or from the south via the flight of 7 locks. For boaters Stoke Bruerne provides a bit of respite (two canal side pubs, one with Bistro and restaurant, one Indian takeaway, and a small café attached to the museum). Visitors by car can “gongoozle” at boaters’ efforts at the locks, take...

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What next…?

Was the Crick Boat Show the wettest, muddiest ever? Some marina residents believed that to be the case. Three days after the Show a welcome email declared the normal car parks (all on gravel and small stone) to have reopened. The marina was still to be regarded as a building site (ie. CAUTION recommended) and a tow service was available for those vehicles still parked on the fields… A few structures still remained  and a wide beam boat was on...

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Fenced in…

Boaters with a serious interest in what the Crick Boat Show 2024 offered will find reports in Waterways World  and other publications. This, though, is a report from behind the lines, or, more accurately, from behind the fences… Email instructions to Crick moorers intending to stay in the marina over the course of the (23rd) Annual Crick Boat Show were frequent during the run-up to the Show’s opening… All cars to be moved off the car park by 5pm Sunday...

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In-bound…

Market Harborough to Crick Marina: 23½ miles, 1 tunnel, 10 locks, 2 swing bridges : “Luuvely day for ducks…!”, a Union Wharf maintenance worker had observed somewhat sardonically on Deluge Day in Market Harborough. His colleague, eyeing up the two umbrellas being carried by the Captain and Boatwif, had sighed and said: “Could do with one of those…!” So the next morning a dry day and sunshine proved a welcome change. The boat was serviced before chugging away from the...

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Anyone remember wearing a liberty bodice…?

Crick to Market Harborough, 12.9 miles as a crow flies Dates and deadlines seem to be ruling this year’s cruising programme.  With plans drastically changed (attendance at Bedford River Festival not possible this year) the Captain returned to the spreadsheets he creates using CANALPLANAC. Cleddau had taken a mooring at Crick Marina in September 2022. It’s proved a great success, just under an hour by road from home, the marina staff and fellow moorers are all very friendly, the toilet,...

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Exercised!

“So you’re exercising your boat then?” a fellow boater concluded. This remark followed a summary of the Crick-Welford trip to test out boat and crew; now the crew were facing Grand Union broad beam locks. It was at Braunston Top Lock, the first broad beam lock of the year. Cleddau by this time had added 8 miles and 7 more narrow locks to her 2024 total, whereas  the Top Lock boater’s total for this year was less than a mile...

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Double trouble

Welford – North Kilworth – Crick There was Cleddau, comfortably tied up at Welford on a 2 day mooring, comfortably that is until things went wrong…    What had happened? Mid-afternoon the Captain ran the engine for a short while just to boost the amount of hot water. (Sometimes a hot shower is nice before a promised meal at a canal-side pub…) After about thirty minutes there was a great shaking and vibrating inside the boat. “Leave it,” said the...

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Measured

Measured is a word often used to indicate a pace or an action as being slow and steady, unhurried and thoughtful. Cleddau, now 35 years old, underwent an out-of-water survey in December. All was well with her hull and steerage. Just a few actions to internal systems were advised…The list was short and straightforward but yet completion took an age. The details were: Recommendation Careful consideration should be given to the continued future maintenance of the hull. It is recommended...

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Meanwhile…

In recent weeks Boatwif has been more of a ‘Housewif’ than a narrowboat crew member. There’s been no windlass wielding, no tiller-gripping, no rope throwing… Minds have been focused on the Great Redistribution. The garage, stacked high with the stuff of decades of family life, had been started on. Locally, several small brothers had often said how they loved going fishing with their dad. A donation to them of a couple of fishing rods and tackle, a child’s tent and...

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A Boatwif in search of a boat

In the six weeks or so since New Year there have been but few boat sightings. Early in January a plot was uncovered – the Captain had conspired to take Boatwif on a secret short-notice trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.    The plot was discovered, but the plan went ahead. Remember the floods? The River Avon was swollen well beyond its usual limits as it made its way downstream to surround Tewkesbury Abbey.    (Photo from The Guardian, January 24). The bandstand...